Adoption & Foster FAQs
Q. How long are animals in foster homes?
A. It completely depends on the animal and the situation. The average stay in a foster home is about 1 month. However, most puppies or kittens as well as dogs and cats with great photos and stories on the web may stay only a few weeks. Others, recovering from an injury, certain breeds and seniors may stay much longer.
Q. Can I adopt my foster?
A. YES! “Foster Fails”, as we like to call it, are very common. As long as foster parents meet the requirements necessary for adoption, foster parents have first choice to adopt their foster.
Q. How are fosters promoted?
A. Photos and stories of all adoptable animals in foster homes are posted on our Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as our website where the public can view them. Foster dogs will also be promoted at special events throughout the year. Foster parents may participate in various programs and events to increase the visibility of their foster to potential adopters.
Foster parents can also help promote their foster to their family, friends, colleagues and the general public through a variety of means including flyers, emails. Foster dogs can even be promoted by walking in a local neighborhood with an “I’m available” bandana around its neck.
Q. What is the process for adopting an animal?
A. The process is briefly outlined below:
- Potential adopters are required to submit an adoption application for review before they can physically meet a dog or cat in foster care.
- Suitable applicants may be contacted for additional screening.
- Once approved, meet and greets with the foster and foster parents will be scheduled with qualified applicants.
- After the meet and greet (and if the applicant is still interested in the animal), foster parents will make a recommendation to Urban Tails Animal Rescue regarding the adoption. The foster animal stays with the foster parent until they hear from the rescue.
- Adoption is approved or rejected by Urban Tails Animal Rescue. Final approval of all adoptions is at the sole discretion of the identified Urban Tails Animal Rescue members.
- Once approved, the adopter pays adoption fees to the rescue and makes a spay/neuter appointment, if necessary. Foster animals cannot go to a potential adopter’s home until the adoption is official and approved by Urban Tails Animal Rescue. The foster animal then goes to its new forever home.
Q. If I have my own animals, can I foster animals?
A. Yes, but keep in mind that it’s always a health risk to expose your animal to other animals whether it’s walking at parks, vet waiting rooms or other common animal areas. The health risk is minimal if your animals are current on their vaccinations, maintains a healthy diet and lifestyle, and are not elderly or very young.
Q. What supplies are needed to foster?
A. Foster parents provide space, food, basic training, exercise and love for the dog. The rescue will provide you with all supplies and equipment needed throughout your foster experience.
It helps if you have a vehicle and are able to take your foster to appointments or adoption events, however, arrangements can be made with volunteers for transport if you do not have car.
Q. Do I have to crate-train my foster dog?
A. Urban Tails Animal Rescue suggests crate training on a case by case basis. On one hand, it is considered to be one of the most efficient and effective ways to house train a puppy or re-train an adult dog. Putting the dog in a crate while you are gone gives you peace of mind knowing that they are in a safe place, away from harm, and not doing any damage to your belongings or themselves. For many dogs, a crate can also represent a safe and comfortable place to call their own and provides them with a sense of security. Dogs like having a “den" to cuddle up in. On the other hand, some dogs coming into our care have spent their entire lives inappropriately confined to a crate or small cage, (sometimes with many other dogs) and therefore have experienced trauma in this regard. Urban Tails Animal Rescue will be assessing which rescue cases will be permitted to crate train and which cases will need to be trained using baby gates. Crating should never be used as punishment.
Q. Do I need to have prior medical knowledge or expertise?
A. No, but you may be asked to dispense medicine to your foster so you will have to be comfortable following veterinarian’s instructions if fostering a sick or injured animal.
Q. What if my foster becomes sick?
A. All veterinary costs are paid by the rescue. If a foster becomes sick, foster parents must call the rescue to authorize a vet visit, or advise you otherwise. Once a veterinary visit has been authorized, you can make an appointment with one of our approved hospitals. They bill the rescue directly so there is no cost to foster parents. If you visit a vet other than one of our approved clinics, you will not be reimbursed for the cost.
Q. How much time each day is needed to foster?
A. Commitment and responsibilities depend on the individual dog and situation. It’s essential that foster parents understand that rescue dogs may be stressed and moving the dog from their point of rescue to the foster home is also very stressful and emotional. Foster parents must be willing to be patient and commit to the dog because our goal is to keep them in a stable and consistent environment.
Many of the dogs at the rescue are “adolescent” dogs between the age of 6 months and 3 years. They typically have a lot of energy and require vigorous daily exercise. This means at least a 30-45-minute brisk walk/run in the morning and again in the afternoon, with plenty of play time in between. Older dogs may only need a morning and evening stroll.
Q. Can I take my foster dog to an off-leash dog park for exercise and socialization?
A. No. While these parks can be fun for some dogs, there are far too many unknowns for it to be a safe and healthy experience for a foster dog. Diseases are easily transmitted and the temperaments of visiting dogs are unknown, thus creating a huge liability to the Rescue. Also, taking a leashed dog to a dog park can create barrier frustration and aggression in dogs. So, we do NOT permit the visit to off-leash dog parks with your foster.
Q. Can I return my foster dog to the rescue if I am unable to foster any longer?
A. We prefer that foster parents continue to foster until we find a permanent home for their foster. It’s extremely stressful for an animal to be passed from foster home to foster home. However, we understand that situations change and it may become necessary to discontinue fostering an animal.
We request that a foster parent provides as much notice as possible (minimum 5-7 days) so that we can find an alternative foster home to transfer the animal to.
Q. What if I go on vacation or have a business trip?
A. If given enough notice, we can usually find volunteers that can foster sit for short durations. We ask that foster parents always keep their case managers aware of any temporary foster sitting situations.